There are Thoughts!

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This winter season is almost over. I’m not disappointed in what I have been watching this season. Thankfully, the shows have been interesting because this has been a rough winter. Snowstorms, earthquakes, freezing temperatures; you name it, we’ve had it. So it’s been nice to be able to log into Crunchyroll and Hulu to find something to watch.  I’ve continued with a couple of shows this season from last season; they include Kill la Kill and Samurai Flamenco.

Kill la Kill is a show that I normally wouldn’t watch. Most of you who have read my blog over time know that I am not a huge fan of fanservice. Kill la Kill is filled with it to the point of overkill. However, there was a story within it all and it was finally revealed in the last two episodes! I was excited because a prediction I made on Tumblr was accurate. I won’t reveal it here if you have not watched it. I was still surprised though I had made the guess. I could not believe I was right. I will venture to say this show is addressing materialism. Allowing clothes, money, and power to take control over our lives that we lose our humanity. Society is brainwashed and cannot see corporations taking over their lives and controlling every aspect such as where we live, what we eat, where we go to school, where we work; complete control. Those who attempt to fight against it are attacked by brute force, imprisoned, forced to go underground. Kill la Kill explores this in its haphazard art, outrageous fight scenes, and obsession with nudity. All the characters have personality which I generally cannot say for most shows I watch. I genuinely like them all except Ragyo Kiryuin; though her rainbow colored hair is fabulous. There are a couple of scenes with her and Satsuki that are too perverted for me to sit through. Spoiler: comes across a bit incestuous and are completely pointless.  My favorite character is Mako with her undying idiot savant-ness (made that word up) and staunch commitment to her friend, Ryuko, and her family. There seems to be something between her and Ira Gamagori. Looks like Gamagori might actually care for a girl other than Satsuki. The battle between corporate control rages on this season and I’m interested to see how it is resolved.

Samurai Flamenco derailed completely. It had such a dramatic turn in events that I continued to watch it.  Lets start with your average wanna-be superhero. Hall monitor by night; concerned about littering, and pickpocketing but steadily moving up to bigger crimes where people start to notice your influence and want to know your true identity. Spoiler ALERT: Then BAM, lets introduce MONSTERS.  Plot twist!!! Where the hell did these monsters come from? They seriously came out of nowhere. There was no indication in the show outside of the OP (which led you to believe it was really just Masayoshi Yazama dreaming) of monster fighting. Some people don’t seem to care for the plot twist and feel Samurai Flamenco should have ended but I find the show endearing. Masayoshi’s character is truly sweet and honest though he is quite naive. He truly wants to help his fellow citizens. I think there are people who want to be superheroes and save the world from bad guys but don’t have the guts or resources to do so. It is true being a superhero as portrayed in anime or western cartoons is quite fantastical. But before the show went into left field with exploding monsters “Viva TORTURE!”, it was quite realistic. Masayoshi trained himself to be stronger, faster, he gained equipment, he was pretty much a loner outside of one true friend.  The only problem is real cops don’t like vigilantes. 

So as usual, with me not blogging as consistently once I get to blog, I realize that if I say everything, the post will be quite long. These two shows are not the only ones I’m watching. I’m also watching Hamatora; which so far to me is quite good and Silver Spoon. I will need to make sure to come back and blog about those soon; not in a month or so. I wish I could blog and watch anime at the same time but that is difficult to achieve because when you look away from the screen, you miss the subtitle! Happy anime watching!

January is Halfway Over?

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2014! A year where new anime will be just as good as the classics! So much hope and optimism for this year that is upon us. I haven’t given up on anime yet but I haven’t settled on what currently running anime I’m watching this season or which one of the older series I am going to watch. I have checked out the first episode of three new series for this season.  Of course, there are no (maybe a tiny bit) spoilers.

Raining ground beef?

  • Hamatora - This appears to be a detective show. A detective show where the characters have magical powers; the bad guys, the good guys. You have to give something to use the power or a certain action must be in process for you to use your power. Humans who hold these powers are called Minimum Holders. Not clear yet on how they came about with that title for these supernaturally powered people. Hamatora is the name of a detective agency that works out of a cafe; they rent a table there. It looks like they are the main characters and they seem to be a group of misfits that work together in a haphazardly yet cohesive manner. Oxymoron, I know. So far, it reminds me of Durarara!!! in terms of the animation style and behavior of some of the characters. The first episode was enough to get me interested in more. There were really nice fight scenes and a mystery that ended hilariously. Second episode is out but I haven’t gotten a chance to watch it yet. I’ll give this two more episodes before I say for sure that I will continue to watch to the end.
  • Pupa - With a 5 minute running time for each of its 12 episodes; this show should not be too disappointing. You can look up the name and the internet will spoil the first episode for you. I had not read any reviews on this show; had no idea what I was going into but it looked dark so I figured I would give it a shot. It packs a punch in the first episode. When it was over, I was left staring at the screen, mouth agape, mumbling to myself “What? What? No. Its over? What? No.” It looks like its going to terrify the crap out of me but I’m still going to watch the second episode. 
  • Wizards Barristers: Benmashi Cecil - I’m up in the air with this one. The second episode will get a watch but there was a scene that was completely unnecessary to the story line that almost made me say “forget it”. I am partly annoyed by the way the main character is dressed and her naiveté but she has the potential to grow which I hope can happen in this show. It parallels with Hamatora actually except instead of a detective agency its a law office that the main character, Cecil, has just now joined.  There are wizards instead of Minimum Holders. Basically, characters still have magical powers. Initially, Cecil did not interest me as a character until towards the end where we are introduced to another side of her outside of the terribly dressed and annoying voice character she is. The cases that it appears the law office that she has joined will defend are more interesting than her. The stories behind their situations and of course, the fight scenes made the first episode watchable once you got past all the cutesy stuff. I’ll give this show one more episode before I commit or write it off.

I am on a search to find some good old anime. I’ve gotten good recommendations on my blog before but this year, I’ve decided to step outside of my box a bit to find more. I’m hoping to get back to blogging more consistently. I’ve missed it. I’m going to start with baby steps; possibly every two weeks vs the once/twice weekly I was doing before. Hope you all brought in the new year with good cheer. 

Obligatory End of the 2013 Year Post

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Happy New Year! This was by far not a good year for blogging for me. So much has happened in 2013 that I couldn’t find the time to post as often. For the people who follow my blog, you know I got married, so there was tons of planning happening and then the wedding. There just wasn’t enough room in my life to blog, work, watch anime, plan a wedding, and everything else life threw my way. I still managed to watch anime and K-drama but I must say 2013 left me unsatisfied in terms of anime selection. But I still hold hope that 2014 will bring back an anime that truly excites me with a story that moves me. That is not to say that 2013 left me with nothing. My favorites for this year were:

1. Psycho Pass

2. Gin no Sagi

3. Uchouten Kazoku

4. Aku no Hana

5. Shingeki no Kyojin

I really hope that I can get back to my more consistent blogging again. However, there is something else BIG happening right now so we shall see. Stay tuned to find out what it is!

Anime Blues

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I’ve got the anime blues. I haven’t written in over a month. I haven’t been able to find anything to blog about. Granted, there has been a lot on my mind that is outside of the anime realm and usually anime is able to help me during times such as these. However, lately anime has not really offered anything new for me. I tweeted how I would really like another show cut from the same cloth of Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Samurai Champloo, Trigun; I would even take something like Inuyasha. A show with mature characters; adults, not just high school kids doing high school things. That’s starting to bore me. These cutesy shows with the cutesy characters even when the show has serious content is annoying. I know the anime fan base eats this up and thats why the creators make shows specifically for them so they can rake in the money. I don’t blame them for this but for goodness sake, throw us a bone here! 

I like watching my anime on television so my easiest choices to watch anime is to purchase shows (which I did in large quantity at Anime Weekend Atlanta) or use Hulu, Crunchyroll, Manga channel, Netflix.  Hulu tends to have a better selection of anime to me than Crunchyroll in terms of more mature viewing. Crunchyoll has tons and tons of cutesy anime and the popular status quo shows. Maybe I need to take some time and go through everything they have to offer. I’ve been feeling this way for a while with anime but Anime Weekend Atlanta was able to spark life back in to me for a moment but that wore off. Its not that I don’t like anything right now. I am watching Kill la Kill and Beyond the Boundary. 

Kill la Kill almost got on the drop list for its ridiculous fanservice but there is something about it that has made me keep watching. The terrible animation, the over the top fight scenes, and the “ugliness” of the characters has its charm. The show is fun to watch. It hints at depth but there really isn’t much that has presented itself in the first 8 episodes. It makes me laugh and I could really use a good laugh. Beyond the Boundary; I’m not quite sure why I keep watching it when it really has been monotonous. Maybe its the hope of there actually being a story within the show. There are 13 episodes and the last few look like we might be getting somewhere. Still both of these shows are not shows I am overly excited about. I am generally watching at least 7-10 shows a season; whether all new or a combination of old and new. I would love some recommendations of anime from the early 2000s. I generally liked shows from that time period the best.  I would love to get out of this funk. 

Quick Wrap – Up

So I went a little MIA after I said I would blog more consistently. The last few weeks, I have had a hard time finding the motivation to blog. Its not that I haven’t been watching anime; I have. It just seems that after Anime Weekend Atlanta and seeing all the awesome-ness of anime in one spot, I felt sort of empty. Convention withdrawal of some sort. However, I have been thinking about a lot of things between that time. The ending of Shingeki no Kyojin for one. There must be more coming out. There has to be.

It disappointed me. There. I admitted it. If this was truly the last episode, then it was one giant infomercial for the manga. Because we learned nothing of substance. We watched Eren continue to waffle back and forth, whine, cry, the stereotypical male anime character; normally weak but has this one trick that makes him amazing. What saved this show was the great fight scenes and the animation style because the story grew quite stale. I get it; I need to read the manga if I want to know what’s in Eren’s father’s basement. I need to read the manga to find out more about Annie who I really don’t believe is a “bad” guy.  Her story has got to be good. It was befitting that she encased herself in “ice” as she was definitely an ice queen. We got a few flashes of her life that just whet my appetite for more of her story. She definitely outranked Mikasa in the latter episodes in terms of “bad-ass female character”.  For those who haven’t seen the show yet (pretty far and few between from what I gather), I won’t add more because I don’t want to spoil anything. I avoided reading blogs about the show because I didn’t want it to taint my final thoughts. And my final thoughts…not impressed. Uchouten Kazoku (The Eccentric Family) ended much better.

Cold as ice

Speaking of Uchouten Kazoku, I enjoyed this show and it had a satisfactory ending that left me feeling complete. Uchouten Kazoku was definitely about an eccentric family. A family of tanuki (raccoon dogs) who spend most of their time in the guise of humans try to enjoy their lives after the death of the patriarch of the family and leader of the tanuki. Their various of coping were definitely entertaining, the eldest brother became even more of a stick in the mud, the next to oldest turned himself into a frog and wouldn’t revert back, the next to youngest lived wild and free, and the baby acted just that. The method of their father’s death was most unfortunate and also a source of constant nightmare to all tanuki; being cooked and eaten by a group of humans called the Friday Fellows. Fast-paced show, likable characters, lots of drunken fun. Mostly every character got a story and you got to see the connections between them all. I love when I get a fleshed out story without being rushed. I would probably watch this one again.

I also completed Silver Spoon. This was one of the best of the season. It is a great slice of life. Definitely not for those who are more action-oriented. The only action you’re going to see here is the slaying of pigs, deer, and cooking pizza. I would really like a good slice of pizza right now and some hot chocolate. A good coming of age story; finding yourself when you have no goal at all. Its a reminder that just because you don’t have a plan, doesn’t mean that you can’t end up with one or there will be no fulfillment in life.  So I said this would be a quick wrap-up, so there it is. I do need to be more consistent with my blogging or I end up wanting to ramble about everything.

What I’m Watching Now

Kill la Kill – (shocker!) – This is chock full of fan-service but so far I have been amused greatly. I laugh hysterically each episode. I saw a long Tumblr post about how the fanservice of this show is really female empowerment. Interesting perspective.

Beyond the Boundary – So far not bad. Half-demon/half-human strangely attracted to a spirit world warrior who apparently can calm him in his demon state (Inuyasha, anyone?). She’s got poison blood, he’s half-demon/half-human; both are feared. Perfect recipe for a strong relationship, don’t you think? Things have gotten real interesting in the last episode.

Arpeggio of Blue Steel – Cute girls as war machines. One war machine will only listen to a particular human guy. Another war machine wants him too. See where this is going?

That’s it for now. Happy anime watching!

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